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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Morrison, Carly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is...

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is statistically significant at the 10 percent level (which suggests that it is due to the Start Smart intervention rather than random chance), and represents a 9 percent increase in payments made during the first month. Start Smart did not produce statistically significant differences in payments made in the second or third month. (Edited author overview)

  • Individual Author: Glosser, Asaph; Germain, Justin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The rise of online platform work through companies such as Uber, Care.com, and TaskRabbit has increased the visibility of alternative work arrangements. This has sparked interest among researchers, policymakers, and program administrators in the “gig economy” and its implications for labor markets, worker protections, and access to benefits. For child support programs, the emergence of the gig economy presents a new dimension to the longstanding challenge of establishing and enforcing child support orders for noncustodial parents working outside traditional salaried employment—in jobs that are often temporary, part-time, and contingent. Nontraditional work arrangements provide individuals with opportunities to generate income with greater flexibility to choose work hours and tasks. However, they often do not provide the same level of economic security as traditional arrangements. Independent workers are less likely to be covered by labor and employment laws, such as a minimum wage, overtime compensation, and unemployment compensation. Moreover, while nontraditional work...

    The rise of online platform work through companies such as Uber, Care.com, and TaskRabbit has increased the visibility of alternative work arrangements. This has sparked interest among researchers, policymakers, and program administrators in the “gig economy” and its implications for labor markets, worker protections, and access to benefits. For child support programs, the emergence of the gig economy presents a new dimension to the longstanding challenge of establishing and enforcing child support orders for noncustodial parents working outside traditional salaried employment—in jobs that are often temporary, part-time, and contingent. Nontraditional work arrangements provide individuals with opportunities to generate income with greater flexibility to choose work hours and tasks. However, they often do not provide the same level of economic security as traditional arrangements. Independent workers are less likely to be covered by labor and employment laws, such as a minimum wage, overtime compensation, and unemployment compensation. Moreover, while nontraditional work arrangements may allow workers additional avenues to earn income, certain employee-based benefits and subsidies such as health insurance, retirement benefits, and life insurance are typically not as available as through traditional work arrangements. In recent years, the growth of the gig economy, where workers’ participation is more transitory than in traditional independent contract work, has contributed to an increase in nontraditional work. (Excerpt from author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Howard, Lanikque; Vogel, Lisa Klein; Cancian, Maria; Noyes, Jennifer L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    We analyze the role of newly integrated data from the child support and child welfare systems in seeding a major policy change in Wisconsin. Parents are often ordered to pay child support to offset the costs of their children’s stay in foster care. Policy allows for consideration of the “best interests of the child.” Concerns that charging parents could delay or disrupt reunification motivated our analyses of integrated data to identify the impacts of current policy. We summarize the results of the analyses and then focus on the role of administrative data in supporting policy development. We discuss the potential and limitations of integrated data in supporting cross-system innovation and detail a series of complementary research efforts designed to support implementation. (Author abstract)

    We analyze the role of newly integrated data from the child support and child welfare systems in seeding a major policy change in Wisconsin. Parents are often ordered to pay child support to offset the costs of their children’s stay in foster care. Policy allows for consideration of the “best interests of the child.” Concerns that charging parents could delay or disrupt reunification motivated our analyses of integrated data to identify the impacts of current policy. We summarize the results of the analyses and then focus on the role of administrative data in supporting policy development. We discuss the potential and limitations of integrated data in supporting cross-system innovation and detail a series of complementary research efforts designed to support implementation. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: White, Roxane; Mosle, Anne; Sims, Marjorie
    Reference Type: Report, Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2018

    Two-generation (2Gen) policies have advanced greatly over the past decade, resulting in positive outcomes for families. 2Gen approaches embrace children and their parents, recognizing that the futures of each are intertwined. These approaches are being adopted by states throughout America, embraced by families, and supported by governments, philanthropies, and businesses. They emphasize the provision of education, economic supports, social capital, and health and well-being to create a legacy of economic security that passes from one generation to the next. The field is rapidly advancing and families are finding hope. There is much to celebrate in the world of 2Gen. States, counties, and municipalities are sharpening their focus on outcomes that directly address intergenerational poverty and support a family’s economic stability. Scalable and replicable solutions exist and are being expanded. At all levels of government and in communities, there has been powerful support for solutions that engage children and their parents together, involving the entire family. Practical State...

    Two-generation (2Gen) policies have advanced greatly over the past decade, resulting in positive outcomes for families. 2Gen approaches embrace children and their parents, recognizing that the futures of each are intertwined. These approaches are being adopted by states throughout America, embraced by families, and supported by governments, philanthropies, and businesses. They emphasize the provision of education, economic supports, social capital, and health and well-being to create a legacy of economic security that passes from one generation to the next. The field is rapidly advancing and families are finding hope. There is much to celebrate in the world of 2Gen. States, counties, and municipalities are sharpening their focus on outcomes that directly address intergenerational poverty and support a family’s economic stability. Scalable and replicable solutions exist and are being expanded. At all levels of government and in communities, there has been powerful support for solutions that engage children and their parents together, involving the entire family. Practical State Solutions outlines successful state strategies and solutions that place families at the center of the work, support families as they exit the cycle of intergenerational poverty and enter a path of economic stability, and are designed to help states replicate and scale successful solutions. (Excerpt from executive summary)

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